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at the bottom of your screen runs out. so where do fiscal cliff talks stand at this critical hour? nbc's kristen welker is on the north lawn and luke russert are both following developments this saturday afternoon. kristen, i'll start with you. any indication at this particular point as to what's happening behind closed doors this afternoon? >> reporter: well, i think most of the action is going on in the hill where staffers with majority leader reid and minority leader mcconnell are trying to conjure up some last-minute deal and this plan would not be the grand bargain that john boehner started initially working on. that plan would have dealt with tax reform and deficit reduction and this will be a much more scaled back version that will deal with the issue of taxes and that is still the big sticking point, taxes. of course, democrats and president obama have called for tax rates to increase on those making $250,000 or less. republicans have said that's way too low. so they're thinking about potentially compromising on a rate that would be $400,000 or $500,000, but some republicans are saying t
's made it clear at that time fiscal cliff deadline may not be met. joining me live to talk about scenarios ahead, former pennsylvania representative and 2010 senate candidate as well, joe sestak, always good to see you. >> good to see you, craig. >> right now ideas are being debated behind closed doors and you suggest we shouldn't be talking so much about a fiscal cliff, per se. we should be talking about a bunny slope. describe what you think should happen. >> the fiscal cliff means we're taking $700 billion out of the economy because of the tax increases and spending cuts. if that happens our economy will hit rock bottom. we'll have zero growth over 2013. we will have, by the end of 2014, double digit unemployment. millions of americans will lose employment. so what you want to do is change the scale of that fiscal cliff to a gentle, let's say, bunny slope. we have a fragile economy, but it's accelerating and it's predicted as this year to grow. it grew at 2% to goh at 3% or more this coming year so you want this skier, so to speak to go down the slope and pick up speed so when
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